Three rounds of Formula One practice as well as three round of knockout qualifying are now behind us in Monaco. Now, it’s time to race in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix (9 a.m. ET/ESPN).
So, who’s going to win and what can we expect?
Mercedes Eyeing Another 1-2 Finish
Through five races into the season, no one has finished in the top two other than Mercedes. They’ve gone 1-2 in each and every race in 2019. So far this weekend, they look like they’ll do so again.
Mercedes has won two of the last four years on the streets of Monaco and will start 1-2 again on Sunday. They look like the clear cut favorites.
Honda’s Looking Strong
Combined, Red Bull and Mercedes have won 11 of the last 12 races in Monaco. Right now, I thin it can push to 12 in the last 13 years. Mercedes is obviously strong but so is Red Bull and Honda too.
Max Verstappen has finished in the top five in literally every race run this season and was also in the top six in all three practice sessions. He starts third on Sunday. His teammate Pierre Gasly was in the top six of all three sessions too and will start fifth. Gasly, also finished seventh in this race for Toro Rosso last year as well.
Speaking of Toro Rosso, they’ve been quite fast. Daniil Kvyat qualified 10th in his No. 26 Honda to go along with being seventh in practice on Saturday as well. His rookie teammate of Alex Albon was fifth in practice on Thursday and 10th on Saturday. He starts 10th on Sunday.
That’s four Honda’s in the top 10 of the starting lineup.
Ferrari’s May Struggle
Yes, they showed some speed this weekend but they gave it all away in qualifying when they didn’t send Charles Leclerc back out. The quickest driver on Saturday failed to get another lap in as he sat in pit lane when everyone else topped his first time. He’ll start 16th instead. With this course being tough to pass on, he will be lucky to finish in the points.
Sebastian Vettel was fifth and third respectively in practice on Thursday but he crashed on Saturday morning. He had his car repaired and qualified fourth. But, with Leclerc outside of the top 10 and Mercedes and Honda’s having numbers in strength up front, Vettel may struggle.
Daniel Ricciardo Looking Strong
The defending race winner qualified his No. 3 Renault seventh. He has five consecutive top five finishes in Monaco to go along with four of them being on the podium. He could be a threat for a top five this weekend.
Top 5 Prediction
1. 77 Bottas – He was third, second and second in practice this weekend and starts second. While he doesn’t have a podium at Monaco before, he does have two straight top five’s and five straight top two’s on the season. Trends say he will win since we’ve seen four straight years of a different winner at Monaco
2. 44 Hamilton – Another Mercedes 1-2. Why not? Hamilton starts on the pole and was first, first and third respectively in practice this weekend. He has four podiums in his last five Monaco starts.
3. 33 Verstappen – He looks the part and has been fast all weekend too. Verstappen, has only one top five finish at Monaco but he gets a second and his first podium on Sunday.
4. 10 Gasly – He had a strong run in this race last year. He’s fast this year. He’s been in the top six all weekend and finishes in the top five.
5. 3 Ricciardo – For the reasons above, I think he sneaks into a top five this weekend.